The 18th century witnessed the “Golden Age of English Art” in which artists explored the variety and abundance of the times. Portraiture ranked high as ordinary individuals, like those in the upper ranks, sought to have their likenesses and achievements documented by artists of note. Satire came into vogue in which art was used to lampoon individuals and situations from those royal to everyday mundane. No aspect of English life was exempt from the artist’s eye, which recorded the triumphs, achievements and changes that occurred in society.
The reign of King George III and Queen Charlotte lasted sixty years and witnessed a period of great endeavor in the arts. As connoisseurs, the royal couple was influential not only in terms of their taste, but also as demonstrated by their active involvement in collecting pursuits and art commissions. George III is perhaps best remembered, in art historical terms, for his founding of the Royal Academy of Art in 1768. This institution was the center for teaching and exhibiting the art of students and masters, and soon found itself at the very center of the arts in England. The royal monarchs were sincere patrons of the arts, an interest which brought them in direct contact with the major creative talents of the era and especially so in the category of portrait painting.